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September 15, 2003

WMD?! Keep out of children's reach!
Mehrad Vaezinejad  [info|posts]

skullsugar.jpgIranian authorities have been given 45 days to prove they have got no Evil intention even deep in their minds. Their decision whether to fully cooperate with the UN watchdogs or not might have considerable effects on the lives of millions of people, both in Iran and other countries in the region.

Before giving comments on how our politicians—or even ourselves—should react to the recent IAEA resolution in Vienna, I think we should have a glance to see what this agenda is all about.

What are the essentials to make a bomb? Does Iran have them?
In simple words (and up to my limited knowledge of physics), a few things are needed for both civilian and military nuclear programs, known as "dual use" facilities:

Fissile material, mainly Uranium and Plutonium, is perhaps the first thing one—a government seeking bomb!—should think about. Due to official Iranian statistics, there are three Uranium mines in central Iran with combined reserves of 800m tonnes that makes the country independent at least in its raw material needs.

Enrichment is the next step. For every 1000 tonnes of Uranium ore, only 2 tonnes of metal is produced of which less than 1% is fissile Uranium. In power plants, normally, Uranium should contain about 20% of this fissile one, while in bombs the ratio must reach a higher level of 80-90%. One way of "enriching" (up to this level) is "gas centrifuge." A group of IAEA scientists visiting Natanz in February 2003 reported "a series of gas centrifuges in an underground complex that may be a pilot plant for a much bigger system..."

Finally, many other industries must be there to fulfill a sophisticated atomic program. Heavy-water, for example, could be used for soaking up the excess neutrons and thus, a heavy-water plant may indicate a weapons-grade enrichment. The Arak heavy-water plant is another area of concern for the UN watchdogs.

What about Bushehr plant?
According to the US officials, satellite pictures show continued development of a nuclear reactor at Bushehr. The reactors at Bushehr were originally commissioned by the Shah in 1974 from a German company. The project was suspended due to the Iranian Revolution in 1979 and was resurrected with Russians' help after the end of Iran-Iraq war. While the light-water reactor will be completed by 2004, the Russians keep claiming that these reactors cannot produce weapons-grade Plutonium. This of course cannot relax the US authorities who are hardly satisfied with their previous policies in supplying the same reactors to North Korea. The US opposes the project on the grounds that Iran already has five small nuclear reactors, which they believe is more than adequate for its needs.

And what aggravated the situation?
In the last series of visits made by UN inspectors last month, they reported signs of highly enriched Uranium in Natanz. They believe that the pilot plant could end as an extended site with thousands of centrifuges by 2004. Iranian officials keep repeating that the samples taken by IAEA come from nuclear equipment that was contaminated when it was bought a decade ago for civilian purposes but they do not say who sold it, only that the whole thing was through an intermediary company. After the report, despite lobbying by Russia and EU, Iran refused to sign the additional protocol to the non-proliferation treaty until Mohammed El Baradei voiced exasperation with Iran last week and condemned its attempts to obstruct UN inspections. The speech made by El Beradei initiated a new series of attacks by the US which made the worsening international crisis escalate and led to the ultimatum by IAEA Board of Governors.

Anyway, UN (or the US?) has ruled. Delighted or depressed, angry or calm, this is the fact we should face and try not to confront with the whole universe. But there exists a final question, at least for me: How far shall we* keep on compromising?

* Would it be an ultra-pessimistic way of thinking if by this "we", I mean every nation but the United States??

Comments
saoshyant at September 15, 2003 09:16 PM [permalink]:

Thank you for your posting Mehrad, your different perspective is appreciated. Nonetheless, your final sentences appear to insinuate that the UN is in fact the US and this is yet another Circus. If I am mistaken, I humbly apologize, and will post it right after your response.

Hence, I have a few simple questions:

1) Why should not Iran accept snap inspections?

2) The EU resisted American pressures regarding Iraq. They have recently rejected the US design for a UN mandate in Iraq that is devoid of Iraqi participation in the exercise of sovereignty.
Are you suggesting that all of a sudden, the EU has surrender to American pressure on Iran? If not, why has one of the EU asked Iran to accept snap inspections?

3) In the end, there is mind-boggling question that I would like to figure out. Why is Iran so eager to acquire nuclear capacity, while there is a present and clear danger that the United States of America is ready to resort to surgical strikes, if not all out invasion?

Moreover, why should Iran buy a handful of Chernobyl style nuclear power plants and put them close to one of the most critical earthquake fault lines, Iran has billions of cubic meters of gas that are burning off the oil well that it can harness for the generation of electricity? With respect to the Chernobyl class power plants, I would like to gratefully cite the University of Toronto, Iranian scientist Kaveh Khodjasteh regarding the viability of any such project anywhere on this web site: Chernobyl, Harrisburg, Hiroshima ... Bushehr:http://freethoughts.org/archives/000039.html

4) Would one be implied to be naive if one happens to believe that often times, some of the Organization, especially when they are headed by one of the most credible scientists in the World, Mohammad al'Baradei, advise their board of governors independently?

May I remind us that al'Baradei and the IAEA never retracted their rejection of the US claims, since before the Iraqi intervention until now?

Steppenwolf at September 15, 2003 09:41 PM [permalink]:

Well, as you might see, both comments of saoshyant and Mehrad are illuminating, sth is going on there, in Iran and they are hiding sth, it is apparent.
US and EU in a smart and elegant move has put the Iranian king in a corner on the chess plate, in a real severe check situation, they are asking for a definite move.
Not mentioning how profitable this is for them, it is so, so embarrassing for Islamic Republic to respond definitely, they have shown that they love “vague” responses and situations to escape from confrontation, now US and EU and UN has brought up a definite question and it was IR ‘s dangerous mistake and some other diplomatic movements which resulted in this situation. Islamic Republic will continue to act as if he wants to comply with IEA and will proceed on his own intentions, but Americans nowadays want to get IR to say “YES” or “NO”. Today, Khatami announced three “NO” s to Atomic bomb, so it seems that the alleged bomb making process, will not reach to a satisfactory conclusion at least till 2 years later (end of his presidency) and he knows it very well. I am so curious to know how IR will continue this “suspension” diplomacy.

Ghazal at September 15, 2003 11:01 PM [permalink]:

There are so many arguments against having a nuclear plant in Iran as Kaveh mentioned in his post but bringing up the argument, why does Iran want to have another source of energy, to prove other intentions is very naďve to me. First of all as we all know like so many other oiled reached countries in the world are, it is wise to have an alternative source as these recourses are limited and irreplaceable and also our whole economy is based on them. And also most of theses resources are potential ones and it is as I was told by a chemist much more expensive to rely on them than using a nuclear plant.
I think what UN is asking from Iran is really unreasonable specially that they already can visit anywhere they want with in a one week notice and I don’t think nuclear weapons and their evidence can be moved in a week without American satellites noticing them and if it is such a good protocol why as Iran says not let everybody sign it including Iran.
Once again we have to pay the price for the way we choose our enemies and friends.
Why on earth do we have to pick Russia as our friend and US as an enemy? Have Russians been more respectful of our national Interests? Or is it a religious reason? are they better believers? Or have they killed less Moslems? Or have they shown to be supportive of their friends?
Could anybody tell me that I really like to know?

saoshyant at September 15, 2003 11:20 PM [permalink]:

Dear Ghazal:

Thank you for your very good International Relations questions. I personally think Russia, both as the Czar's Empire and the USSR has incurred so much damage to the historical integrity of Iran that today that it has been reduced to a wounded bear, I find it the worst type of ally one can find.

Just as a friendly reminder, there are many other alternative sources of Engergy that combined together and providing they are distributed to respond to regional and local needs, they can provide enough energy for a haphazardly insdustrializing state like Iran. You can use all types of wind mills in many parts of Iran, for example Yazd and Kerman. I have not forgotten the ferocity of the winds in those regions that according to the local people remain on average considerable throughout the year. You can do the same thing near major mountain passages that do not get as much frost, but of course mist, such as Roodbar (I always nostalgically miss those beautiful olive trees bending to the wind). And if an earthquake happens you can do something about it. May I refer to the solar energy as well? I suppose Iran is one of those countries that can invest its billions of dollars in these areas instead of a nuclear power plant whose nuclear waste can become yet another burden for the generations in less than 15 years. You might say we have thousands of kilometers of desert, we can dump them there. If so, well, be my guest! I am the naive one and you go and pollute your deserts as well.

Mehrad at September 16, 2003 07:57 AM [permalink]:

Dear saoshyant,

1. I didn't mean UN is US, in fact it is not. Obviously,UN is UN -who cares? let it be!- but it is US that rules.

2. Let's suppose Mr. ElBaradei advises its board of governors independently. Does IAEA decide independently which country should be inspected next?

Mehrad at September 16, 2003 08:26 AM [permalink]:

Two more points saoshyant,

3. I'm not suggesting that EU has surrenderd to US. At least in this case it seems that the EU is truely worried about Iran nuclear programs. But it's not always like that. There are many cases in which EU and US confront and although doing their best, Europians can do nothing but compromise or surrender at last.

4. Why should not other countries accept snap inspections? Because they're not under suspicion now? Why not? Don't tell me there are no other countries developing underground nuclear projects right now...

saoshyant at September 16, 2003 09:42 AM [permalink]:

Dear Mehrad:

First of all, I appreciate if in the end we happen to agree to "disagree". I found your responses fair enough. Now let me get back to what I call the "real politics" of policy option at a time of great regional and international tention.

1) The New Regime of snap inspections has just put in place, in the aftermath of the Iraqi and North Korean situation, and the Iranian case marks the beginning of such exercises. Indeed, the board of govrnors was not in agreement as to how it had to implement the whole inspection issue, until the United States prove to them that whether the whole world opposes it or not, it has the determination to do what it wants, the ways its resources permit, and how it wants in dealing with the opposing unyielding states.

2) In such a situation, does not wisdom rule to co-operate as opposed to exacerbate a situation that is already tense?

3) From 1 and 2, and in view of the present circumstances:

Hence, I beg your pardon, but I find the Islamic Republic's initial responses that 'there is no inconsistency', 'other countries in the region have done the same thing', not just as 'ridiculous', but absolutely irresponsible towards the Iranian nation, Iranians, and the geater historical Perso-Iranian Civilization.

4) Even for the sake of their own pitiful survival, the regime's elite should co-operate. Otherwise, the situation may very well approach to a point that some unreasonable fanatic at the top of the pyramid of rulers will indeed be forced to drink hemlock (or who knows all of them maybe forced to do so). Rest assured, I will not even shed a tear, but I would be saddened to see that because of their irresponsible attitude, bad planning, mismanagement of resources, and most of all their most pious corruption at all levels, they become the main cause of provoking the Bold Eagle to cast its wrath upon the innocet and remainder of a great civilization.

Senior Grad at September 16, 2003 02:00 PM [permalink]:

Although US and other world forces of varying natures (UN, for example) are worried about the world peace being threatened by a fundamentalist regime having access to the bomb, and although some Iranians' response seems to be of merely defiant nature (Why should Isreal have the bomb, but not us? Why should UN or US dictate us what we should do?), I think our major concern as Iranians must be the possible (I'd say "likely"!) human catastrophes that may result from having the bomb or even the peaceful reactors for generating electricity (yeah, sure!) and not knowing how to protect *ourselves* from it.

Chernobyl must have had invaluable lessons for us. If Russians (who I think we agree are much more advanced in technology than Iranians) could not prevent such a wide-range disaster, how could we? What if the Iranian janitor who is supposed to clean the reactor premises be tempted to press THE button?! But joking aside, I personally do not trust Iranian scientists and engineers enough to have them run such a high-risk machine as a nuclear reactor anywhere near where my family lives. I agree that some risk is always involved. But do we have at least the infrastructure to help rescue as many lives as possible if such a disaster takes place?

Those of you who live in America may remember that not long ago, a few miners were trapped in a mine and they were running out of food, water and oxygen. A rescue operation were then carried out to save the lives of those miners. I was following the news and I was truly impressed by 1) their technological ability and 2) how much they cared for lives of those workers. I asked myself what would be the outcome if such a thing had happened in Iran, especially if the workers were second-class humans, as, for example, Afghanis in Iran are generally conveived to be?!

Let me share a little experience with you. After an air raid during the Iran-Iraq war, I visited the bombed (rocketed?) place to see if our relatives were fine, immediately after we found out that the phones were not working. It was pitch dark and police (some sort of police anyway) had gotten there fast to prevent people from going to the rubble. But I sneaked in and what do you think I saw? Instead of firefighters or god-fearing people trying to rescue the ones under the collapsed houses, I saw bulldozers that were mixing the debris. I am sure if someone was still alive they would be sweetly freed from this earthly existence by the bulldozers.

Now, if something like Chernobyl's situation happens in Natanz or Bushehr, who is going to answer to generations of Iranians who would suffer from the aftereffects of such a disaster? Huh?

Ghazal at September 16, 2003 10:52 PM [permalink]:

I think according to the contracts with Russia, they want the nuclear waste back.
But I completely agree that if we are not prepared enough for emergency and containment issues it is not worth the risk at all.
This is what I could find for comparison of oil/gas, wind and nuclear plants as energy sources in US which some of them apply to Iran as well:
Nuclear:
• Fuel is inexpensive
• Energy generation is the most concentrated source
• Waste is more compact than any source
• Extensive scientific basis for the cycle
• Easy to transport as new fuel
• No greenhouse or acid rain effects
x Requires larger capital cost because of emergency, containment, radioactive waste and storage systems
x Requires resolution of the long-term high level waste storage issue in most countries
x Potential nuclear proliferation issue
Wind:
• Wind is free if available
• Good source for periodic water pumping demands of farms as used earlier in 1900's
x Need 3x the amount of installed generation to meet demand
x Limited to few areas of U.S.
x Equipment is expensive to maintain
x Need expensive energy storage (e.g. batteries)
x Highly climate dependent - wind can damage during windstorms or not turn during still summer days.
x Can affect endangered birds.
Oil/Gas
• Good distribution system for current use levels
• Easy to obtain
• Better as space heating energy source
x Very limited availability as shown by shortages during winters several years ago
x Could be major contributor to global warming
x Expensive for energy generation
x Large price swings with supply and demand

saoshyant at September 16, 2003 11:45 PM [permalink]:

Ghazal:

Is this the site that you got your information from?

http://www.nucleartourist.com/basics/why.htm

In order to defend a view rationally, one has to provide "Authentic" sources and before anything else attempts to try to falsify one's position as much as I can. I vividly see your attempt to defend this position was not based on an attempt to falsify it in order to test its reasonable defencibility based upon the knowledge available. Any book on the mehtodology of science can help better than what I just said.

We are discussing Iran and you clearly cut and paste your defence from a US website. I became suspiscious when I saw the "US" concerning the rejection of solar power!!!!!

Deliberative argument is a matter of convincing ohters based upon sharing methods of verifiying the truth, Not resorting to "google" platforms of justifications.

I am really sorry, but whatever the proponent of the Nuclear energy in the US say, many industrial nations have begun developing other alternative sources of engergy other than Nuclear one.


By the way, since there are tens of physicists, is not this true that that the nuclear waste has to be buried for 200,000 years?!!!!!

The other question that you guys keep skipping and not addressing is that "Is this a Chernobyl style power plant" or not?

Thirdly, is it patriotism that makes people to be appologists of impatience, mismanagement and bad policy-making?

I invite everybody to look at the extensive study of the International Energy Organization concerning the potentials of developing renewable energy resources. The research starts off with what is going on, and ends with very viable conclusions:


General Web site:

http://www.iea.org/

http://library.iea.org/renewables/index.asp

The conclusions suggest developing solar power and wind power in countries like Iran can prove more viable if they target locally and regionally designed grids. Diversification of enegrgy and supply and demand is yet another way of dealing with harnessing these sources of energy and making them available for the consumers.

No one can go "raheh sad-saaleh in one night", but if one wants to do that and gets innocent people killed, their country devastated, or at least their environment subject to nuclear hazards and pollution, because of their need to pursue insane ambitions, especially the ones that have not been properly consulted with the people and their informed consent has not been sought: Then can one question both their morality and HUMANITY?

Dan Schmelzer at September 17, 2003 01:52 AM [permalink]:

I don't want to get too bogged down into details because this is a political discussion, but natural gas turbine electricity generation is now the most attractive energy source for a country that has large reserves of natural gas, as does Iran (2nd in the world in reserves). Nuclear is about twice as expensive, depending on the interest rates. The US is building natural gas plants like mad, and we don't have nearly as much natural gas as does Iran.

This is the reason why Iran's cover story of energy diversification has no credibility to the international community (or the US, if that's the way you wish to identify it), even if for the vast majority of countries, including the US, it is very sensible energy policy.

Senior Grad at September 17, 2003 07:48 AM [permalink]:

saoshyant wrote:

"Deliberative argument is a matter of convincing ohters based upon sharing methods of verifiying the truth, Not resorting to "google" platforms of justifications."

I'm afraid this is what I find myself guilty of too. :-| Damn google!

Mehrad at September 17, 2003 09:19 AM [permalink]:

saoshyant and Dan,
I think the whole thing have been mixed up a little, so let me clear myself about this Atomic Energy debate.

For me, the recent crisis and our own arguments consist of two completely different aspects that I wish to explain.

1. Scientific Approach
Facts that Ghazal posted on her last comment or the realities Kaveh mentioned in his "Hiroshima,..." entry are examples of this approach which might include scientific figuers or environmental issues.

From this point of view, I personally, am against nuclear programs to the extent that they put human lives in seriuos danger. Let it be in Iran or US, for civil or evil purposes.

2. Political Approach
The last couple of sentences in my post or those comments addressing to international relations could be examples of this kind of approach.

In this, I've got quite a lot to argue about. There's no doubt in Iran's effort to diversify the whole story and even in its leaders' insanity to confront with the whole world. But still, for me at least, there exist really serious questions in US policies throughout the world; specifically the way it clings on to everything, every possible pretext, that might reinforce American's total control over the Middle East.

sorry for the long comment..

The Donkey at September 17, 2003 11:40 AM [permalink]:

Looks like you guys have got enough time, why not have a look at this short article from The Guardian on Iran Atomic Crisis:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/iran/story/0,12858,1042837,00.html

saoshyant at September 17, 2003 01:26 PM [permalink]:

Dear The Donkey (can you guys set a policy that people are prevented from using this kind of pseudonyms?):

The Guardian article that is also on the BBC Persian web site, is just an editorial that does not address the concerns regarding bad policy making and/or at least bad timing and lack of co-operation on the part of Islamic Republic.

For example, one of the reasons mentioned there is deterrence. Really???? If Israelis or Pakistanis for what ever freaking reason decide to drop a nuclear bomb on Iran, that could come as a first strike, for all intents and purposes Iranians need to have at least a very good, and by good I mean "really sophisticated" missile system. Plus, even if Iranians do have a missile system, it is no good, as both Israel and Pakistan, thanks to the bloody US embargo on Iran for the past 25 years, have extremely superior Air Forces. Unless, you are convinced that the present Iranian Air Force is capable of at least dealing with Pakistan, if not ISRAEL.

All the present books on the military strategy (If you need books concerning modern warfare just go to Amazon and you will get tones of them) suggest that:

A country needs to have good number tactical and strategic missiles, which are designed both as remote control and non-remote control as a system. Also some type of competitive Air Force in order to be able to deter others by showing that it has the resilience of delivering a nuclear device via alternative means, and backing it up via those means. Iran would also need a relatively good Radar and Anti-Radar technology.

Unfortunately, North Korea already has a very good missile system, backed up with relatively updated Soviet style Air Force, which makes the case for the North Korean deterrence plans more meaningful.

That is why even from a military perspective I find the Islamic Republic’s plan ridiculous, if not embarrassing, not to mention its viability for peaceful objectives.

saoshyant at September 17, 2003 01:36 PM [permalink]:

Follow up:

Of course, I do not know if the Shehab missiles and a combination of old style Soviet airplanes and old American Jets would make a case for a strong Iranian Air Force: if it does, which could be a miracle, then I am humbly mistaken, other than that the present Iranian air defence technology is a historical joke and mirculous debacle.

Ghazal at September 17, 2003 05:19 PM [permalink]:

Dear Saoshyant,
I don't want to defend a view but instead let it be known and actually what made me to even do that in the first place was the fact that I didn’t see anyone trying to falsify the position that it is irrational to have nuclear plants in Iran. I did clearly cut and past the “comments” (not defense) from a US website and I thought I made it clear in my comment.
I happen to believe that it is possible to grasp the truth even without some defined methods of verification.
By the way I find it interesting to know the position of US itself about using nuclear plants as an energy source as it was the only country who was suggesting Iran doesn’t need nuclear plants because it has gas.

Kaveh Kh. at September 17, 2003 06:28 PM [permalink]:

"Official" position of the US government is that they want to replace all the dirty sources of energy with clean ones.

saoshyant at September 17, 2003 06:28 PM [permalink]:

Dear Ghazal, thank you for your comments, I leave our scientific methodology debate to later, especially when I am not convinced through gazing at fire, or Irfan and Mysticism one can verify much truth in the modern world as opposed to some type of more vrifiable method.

Nonetheless, the main questions remains why nuclear energy for Iran? Indeed, there are many people in the US who oppose Nuclear Energy and they are pretty active about that 5% of them voted for Ralph Nader in the last presidential election. Here, I can comfortably cite google with respect to all sorts of data and statistics about Nuclear Energy and opposition to its use in the US. Protests at the local level against them are increasing. State officials have to consult with people increasingly. There are lawsuits in the courts. The story is as big as the US itself.

But at least, in the US, you can sue the governments, the corporations, write in the papers, post on the Internet, take them to the Supreme Court and do a zillion other things and get something, not much maybe but you are able to do something if not SOMETHING. But in Iran there is no such a background. You cannot even do that and if it is bad policy, and people do not have the knowledge and freedom, which are mutually depedent upon each other to criticize the situation, why should we not be happy that others, for whatever intention and reason do that, especially if there is the possibility of hazards, pollution, and worst of all out of prorportion catastrophe.

It is just now that the lawsuits regarding nuclear tests in Nevada are finding their way to the US courts and million dollar compensations are being granted. Will the present Judiciary of the present regime do that 50 years from now (if the regime continues to exist until then)?

My questions based upon domestic, fiscal, and environmental grounds cannot be dismissed by pointing towards this and that, blaming Jane and Joe, and asking why x has it, y has it and we don't? The strategic questions, from a military point of view, that asked cannot be easily dismissed either.

The path towards freedom often starts with moving towards more and honest self-criticism, instead of becoming, however unwittingly, the appologists of a regime's bad policy making, bad leadership, and corruption.

A regime that regardless of its legitimacy, its policies are inspired by irrational patterns of mismanagement, power-mongering, corruption, mis-guided ambitions, underestimating the realpolitik of super powers, and inattentive to their powerless rusty and unsustainable military appartus supported by the old cold war weaponary. They are not worth being appologized for, attempt to be justificatory about or come up with an excuse for. It is not just worth it. It is not even patriotic.


Alas!I wish my questions were addressed more directly.

BHS at September 17, 2003 08:31 PM [permalink]:

I agree with Saoshyant in that Islamic Republic's way of handling the situation has been less than satisfactory, if not flat out idiotic. The whole nuclear energy project strikes me as just a show-off or food for the propaganda machine. That's my personal opinion *at the moment* and open to debate, the main question of which being: "what purpose is exactly this project supposed to serve?"

My impression of the scietific activity conducted at the Institute for Atomic Energy, for instance, is, from the few occasions I hppened to be there as a student, that it was quite thin, to say the least. I really wonder, what scientific base for operating and maintaining such a grand undertaking there is, especially with the current well-known brain drain in Iran.

saoshyant at September 17, 2003 10:12 PM [permalink]:

Dear Mehrad;

With respect to 3 and 4 I really appologize for the emotional take-over. Some of my comments were inappropriate and appologize from everybody.

But at last, something happened! I got some direct response and that I expected dearly.
I will respond accordingly shortly.as per 1 and 2.

Dan Schmelzer at September 18, 2003 12:56 AM [permalink]:

To flog this dead horse mercilessly, the United States hasn't built a new nuke electricity site in about 35 years. Contrast to the fact that over the next 3 years, the US will add more natural gas turbine generation than Iran's entire current electricity generation output. This is true even though the US has only 1/5 the natural gas reserves of Iran. It is plain and obvious to the US that it doesn't make any sense at all for Iran to generate electricity through nukes.

saoshyant at September 18, 2003 09:29 AM [permalink]:

Dear all:

I find myself obliged to ensure that I retract some of the emotional parts of my my few previousc ommetns, that are indeed distracting and counter-productive for the purposes of democratic debate.

As a matter of self-reflection, and upon an exchange of few messages with other commentators, I think what I have learned from my emotional blunders in the present debate is that concerning the "the nukes", is that it would be better if I had paused a bit, sat aback, and formulated my thoughts in a way that would help continuing discussion in productive manner. Instead, I allowed myself to be taken over by "what I felt about strongly". Overcoming by those feelings was wrong, and I had to ask more questions for clarification, even if they could be challenging in nature.

In fact, as many of you know, I often do ask questions like that and this time around I faild to do so.

For me this was a humbling lesson in democratic debate. But I suppose without exerciting the expression of our free thoughts it would not be possible to learn this lesson, although if I had taken the issue to heart much less than that I could present my views more clearly.

"Hammerring others" (a well-put description by one of the commentators that was kindly relayed to me in a private message), does not help us to share ways through which we can verifiy the truth.

I am guilty of that, and I truly appologize from everybody.

Tijuana Ex-Patriot at September 30, 2003 11:19 PM [permalink]:

Gotta love those Mexican "dia de los muertos" skulls.